A gay Republican website blamed an anti-Trump liberal for the mass shooting in Las Vegas, but there’s a problem with the allegations: They aren’t true.
The Gateway Pundit, run by conservative blogger Jim Hoft, accused Geary Danley of murdering 58 people (at the time of writing) in an attack on a country music concert Sunday night. At around 10:08 p.m., a gunman opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, targeting a crowd of 22,000 attending Route 91 Harvest. The concert was a three-day music festival featuring names like Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, and Sam Hunt.
In a post which has since been removed, the website pointed to Danley’s politics as inspiring the shooting, in which at least 400 people were injured. The Gateway Pundit called the alleged gunman a “far-left loon.”
“Everipedia.com reports that Geary was another angry far-left shooter,” Hoft wrote.
The Republican pointed to the pages Danley liked on Facebook as evidence of his guilt, a claim that was totally unsubstantiated: “Rachel Maddow, People’s Action, Democrats, [and] MoveOn.org.”
Far-right trolls are creating a conspiracy theory about Geary Danley. He was listed as being married to person of interest Marilou Danley. pic.twitter.com/fy0LstFKJC
— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) October 2, 2017
The post quickly spread across social media. ThinkProgress reports that Hoft’s article was posted in at least six 4chan forums, including its Politically Incorrect thread. 4chan, an even more extremist alternative to Reddit, is known for being a safe haven for violent trolls, who harass victims with little impunity. It’s also a breeding ground for pro-Trump propaganda.
The Gateway Pundit allegations were subsequently promoted by Google News.
But the homocon website had the wrong man. On Monday morning, police identified Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old white male from Mesquite, Nevada, as the shooter responsible. Everipedia, a Wikipedia competitor that has received the Breitbart seal of approval, subsequently removed Danley’s name from its post.
This is just the latest time the Gateway Pundit has attempted to blame a horrific act of violence on Democrats.
Following the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Va., the website claimed that the driver who plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters on Aug. 12 was an “anti-Trump protester,” naming a Michigan man as responsible. Hoft wrote that he “hit the wrong crowd.”
The assailant was actually James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old white supremacist from Maumee, Ohio. He was photographed at the rally with the pro-fascist group Vanguard America.
Hoft, a longtime conservative activist, came out in 2016 following the attack on Pulse Nightclub. Following the death of 49 people at the Orlando gay bar, he claimed that it was time for the LGBTQ community to “come home” to the Republican Party. Members of that party offered “thoughts and prayers” following the Las Vegas shooting, with President Trump expressing “warm condolences” to the victims and their families.